The special prosecutor in the trial of Cass County Sheriff Larry Jones and County Attorney James Barry spoke with reporters late yesterday after Judge Robert Hutchison’s ruling that removed both men from office. Attorney Ron Feilmeyer said he was speaking on behalf of those who brought the civil trial. He says it was most unusual and to receive the results was gratifying. He says speaking for himself he says pursuing the removal of two public servants who he knew well was not easy. He says he concurs that the two should be commended for the services they provided in the past. Feilmeyer said despite personal reservations, he’s satisfied the judge made the right decision. He says he pleased with the decision, but feels for the individuals involved because he knows them personally and knows it’s a big impact on their lives. But he says he believes the right decision was made. He says he was confident the evidence against the men was there, but it bothered him that neither man felt compelled to resign once the State Auditor’s report was released. Feilmeyer said he’s not heard whether Barry will appeal the Judges’ decision. Both Barry and Jones cleared out their desks after the ruling and left the courthouse. With Barry’s removal from office comes the question of who will serve as County Attorney in the interim. As far as who will act as Sheriff, Feilmeyer says the County Board of Supervisors will appoint a successor to Jones. Until then, Chief Deputy Bill Sage will take command. Feilmeyer concluded the press conference by reflecting on the historical significance of the two cases, spawned by an obscure and rarely-used law on the books. Feilmeyer says while he’s pleased with the outcome of the trials, he’s by no means celebrating the verdict. He says it’s unfortunate Barry and Jones “crossed over the line” and the resulting impact media coverage and the trial has had on the community of Atlantic and Cass County.
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